Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Roger Ailes, former Fox News chief & founder, dead at 77

Laurie Berry | 19 May, 2017, 07:12

Ailes' downfall began with the July 6 filing of a lawsuit by Gretchen Carlson, who charged that Ailes sabotaged her career because she refused his suggestions for sex and had complained about a pervasive atmosphere of sexual harassment at Fox.

Ailes was also formerly the president at CNBC, which gave him the idea to create a business channel for the Fox chain to be known as the Fox Business Network. Carlson said she was sacked for refusing Ailes' sexual advancements, and Tantaros alleged Fox News was "steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny".

Ailes strongly denied the claims, but stepped down with a $40 million severance package. His departure came during the Republican National Convention and at a time when the network was scoring record ratings.

Embattled media executive Roger Ailes died Thursday. Critics denounced it as a cynical and polarising right-wing propaganda machine. "For decades Ailes has impacted American politics and media". "Attacking me and Fox News is nothing new - it's a cottage industry", Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014.

Ailes molded the network to run like a political campaign operation, with primetime shows that were unabashedly conservative and hosts who openly espoused Republican talking points.

He was an employee of Rupert Murdoch, the worldwide media tycoon, but wielded power on his own, too, regularly being courted by Republican presidential candidates.

Critics say China's new pro-trade rhetoric doesn't mesh with its ongoing trade restrictions. O'Reilly was dropped by Fox News soon after. "I want people to watch Fox News even if the sound is turned down'".

Ailes built a reputation as intimidating, profane, egotistical, according to reports, and was so paranoid that Rolling Stone said he was convinced al Qaeda wanted to kill him. "It became a locker room, towel-snapping environment".

FOX news former CEO dies at 77
In the face of sexual assault allegations, Ailes did not address the accusations in his resignation statement. He reportedly had several other serious health problems that contributed to his death.

Despite Ailes' staunch denials, 21st Century Fox corporate head Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, determined that Ailes had to go.

That lawsuit was filed with the New York Supreme Court. By 2002 Fox had overtaken long-established CNN in the ratings.

His resignation marked an abrupt end to his 20-year rein over America's most lucrative and powerful cable news channel for conservatives.

Ailes was born and raised in Warren, OH. "Roger Ailes is not on the air, Roger Ailes does not ever show up on camera, and yet everybody who does is a reflection of him", radio talk host Rush Limbaugh, whose TV show Ailes produced in the early 1990s, once said. His behind-the-scenes work to shape a more appealing television image for Nixon during his successful 1968 presidential campaign was chronicled in Joe McGinniss' bestselling book, "The Sellling of the President".

The unidentified 911 caller told the dispatcher at 1:49 p.m. that the victim, identified only as a 77-year-old male, suffered "serious bleeding" and that the fall was "accidental".

In an interview with NY magazine, other women described horrifying run-ins with Ailes during his career in broadcasting: "He reclined on a couch in a seating area under a map that had flags of all the cities they were syndicated in".

In 1984, Ailes provided Reagan a one-liner to rebut any questions about his mental stamina or advancing age.

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